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Damara (pronounced: /dɑːˈmærɑːdah-MARR-ah[8]) was a sparsely populated kingdom in the Cold Lands of Northeast Faerûn.[7] In 1357 DR it was ruled by King Virdin. Later ruled by King Gareth Dragonsbane[5] as of 1371 DR,[4] and, with Vaasa, formed the Bloodstone Lands.[9] In 1479 DR, it was under rule by King Yarin Frostmantle.[6]

"Bloodstone and metals are common like in Vaasa, but the climate is just a shade warmer. It's enough to make herding work, and even farms in the warmest parts, but is still a harsh land. After all the troubles out of Vaasa, weary folk live here, and wary, too. Not a land I'd want to settle in -- winds so harsh that you can tell how they blow in any vale by the way all the trees lean. Rocks everywhere, too. A hard land.
— Anonymous Harper agent[10]

Major geographical features[]

Forests[]

The Earthwood forest was a small forest known for its resilience, with trees growing back extremely quickly.[11]

Mountains[]

The Galena Mountains were a jagged range of icy mountains that were largely inhabited by goblinoids and giants, but were also home to dwarves who mined the bloodstone, iron and silver deposits.[12] Bloodstone Pass was the only pass through the Galena Mountains that was large enough for significant trade, linking Damara with neighboring Vaasa to the west.[11]

Climate[]

The people of Damara were generally hardy, and the winters were harsh. During the summer, the farming season was short.[13]

Politics[]

From its earliest days, Damara was divided into counties or provinces ruled by noble houses but united under the throne of Damara. These counties were divided into city provinces, with craftsmen and trade centers, and supply provinces, with farming and mining communities.[14][note 1] These areas were:

History[]

Early History[]

Beginning in -2475 DR, Damara and the rest of the Cold Lands were locked beneath the Great Glacier until it began melting and retreating northward in 1038 DR.[15]

Damara's capital, Heliogabalus, was founded by Feldrin Bloodfeathers, the first King of Damara, in 1075 DR.[2] It had a long line of monarchs until the death of King Virdin in 1357 DR by Zhengyi.[3] During this time, Damara thrived on foreign trade, particularly through caravans to Ilmwatch in Impiltur and to the settlements on the Moonsea, through the gap between Rawlinswood and the Earthspur Mountains known as Merchants Run. Shipments of bloodstone were made throughout Traders Bay, and in Sarshel. Trade was also made through the Bloodstone Pass in the Galena Mountains, through the sparsely populated Vaasa, and through Garumn's Climb and beyond.[13]

The Witch-King[]

In just one night in 1347 DR, Castle Perilous was created on a crag in northern Vaasa by the lich Zhengyi,[16][note 2] who claimed power in Vaasa, garnering the support of the goblins, giants and orcs, as well as creatures from other planes and the undead, and the Grandfather of Assassins.[17]

In the same year, Wolf Winter struck Damara, in which the harvest was destroyed by early frosts, leading to widespread starvation, and dire wolves, some lycanthropes, spread into northern Damara. This coincided with an evil creature infesting the Bloodstone Mines, halting the mining operation that was responsible for almost half of Damara's bloodstone revenue and killing hundreds of miners.[18]

In 1348 DR, the Vaasan War began in earnest when the armies of the Witch-King Zhengyi occupied Bloodstone Pass and swept into Damara, massacring many Damarans and plunging the nation, along with Vaasa, into a decade of war. Narfell and Impiltur offered no help with the conflict on the grounds that they had their own problems to deal with.[18]

A stalemate was reached in 1357 DR when King Virdin's Damaran army was involved in a standoff with Zhengyi's forces across the Ford of Goliad. The stalemate lasted throughout the month of Kythorn (the source material gives "June" as the month but this is not on the Faerûnian calendar) until Virdin used a magic wand, believed to have been given to him by his chief lieutenant Felix, which he believed would allow his army to safely cross the river. It was a deception and Zhengyi's army had been waiting for this moment. They struck while much of Virdin's army was in the river, laying the decisive blow. Virdin, who was watching from a nearby hill, was assassinated by a dagger used by an unknown assassin, believed to have been Felix.[19]

Due to their failure in the Battle of Goliad, Damara came under the power of the Kingdom of Vaasa. The northern provinces of Damara were deserted and the refugees fled to the south of the kingdom. During this time, the Kingdom of Damara was non-existent, as it became a land for a few dukes and barons independent from each other. These independent leaders, many of whom had risen to power after the war with Zhengyi’s help, were forced to pay tribute to Vaasa and acknowledge the power of their northern neighbor.[20]

Damara Restored[]

Gareth Dragonsbane and a group of six of his adventuring companions eventually managed to break the Witch-King's rule after a number of adventures and a series of battles comprising the Bloodstone Wars, culminating in the defeat of Zhengyi himself in Year of the Serpent, 1359 DR.[5][3] In that same year, Gareth Dragonsbane was crowned King of Damara.[5]

Under Gareth Dragonsbane’s rule, the fortunes of Damara would see their peak.[21] Over the decades of his reign, King Dragonsbane focused on rebuilding Damara's economy and on mitigating potential threats from the stragglers of Zhengyi's forces.[5] He and his allies founded the intelligence network Spysong to counter the Citadel of Assassins,[22] and in the Year of Rogue Dragons, 1373 DR, they repelled an invasion by Sammaster and the Cult of the Dragon masquerading as a returned Witch-King.[23]

From the beginning of his reign, Baron Tranth of Bloodstone had encouraged him to conquer Vaasa.[24] To this end, Gareth lured adventurers to Vaasa with promises of land, mineral wealth, and exorbitant bounties on monsters and evil humanoids in order to pacify the region.[5][25] By the end of his reign, he had successfully annexed Vaasa into his kingdom.[26] This new unified kingdom of Damara and Vaasa was dubbed the Kingdom of Bloodstone, and the capital was moved from Heliogabalus to Bloodstone City.[27][28]

The Fall of Bloodstone[]

Following the events of the Spellplague, a new evil organization known as the Warlock Knights arose in Vaasa and began accruing power.[26] In 1459 DR, following political unrest caused by the assassination of Gareth's descendant, Queen Brianne Dragonsbane, the Warlock Knights marshaled an army of conscripts and evil humanoids to rebel against the Kingdom of Bloodstone. The war began in 1460 DR, and in 1469 DR they successfully sacked Bloodstone City, razed the surrounding valley, and garrisoned the ruins.[27][28][29] The Warlock Knights' victories meant the end of the Bloodstone Kingdom, which fractured back into Vaasa (controlled by the Warlock Knights) and Damara.[27] Damara's capital returned to Heliogabalus, now called Helgabal.[1]

Damara at this time was in disarray both militarily and politically. The richest and most ambitious man in the kingdom, Yarin Frostmantle, had thrown the kingdom into chaos as he sought to ascend to the throne. He was suspected of being involved in the assassination of Queen Brianne,[28] and it was an open secret that he was subsequently responsible for the assassination of King Murtil Dragonsbane, the last of Gareth's heirs. Following King Murtil's death, Yarin successfully usurped the throne sometime in the 1460s DR.[1][30] As king, Yarin Frostmantle was considered by many to be a petty, incompetent, and oppressive tyrant.[6] He maintained an army of foreign mercenaries specifically for eliminating vassals whom he thought questioned his legitimacy, and it was commonly feared that he might undercut any future defense against the Warlock Knights by killing his own military leaders out of spite.[1] He was also known to have executed his fifth and sixth wives after they failed to provide him with an heir.[30]

By 1479 DR, King Frostmantle's reign was characterized by increased threats to Damara's borders, including monsters from the Great Glacier to the north, demons from the Dunwood to the east, and raiders from Narfell to the northeast.[1] Despite this, the only threat he seemed willing to address was the Warlock Knights to the west, who maintained their forces in Bloodstone Pass,[27] and so he had the Damaran Gate at the south end of the Pass fully garrisoned and supplied for an invasion.[1]

At some point during the 1480s DR, King Frostmantle's seventh wife, Concettina Delcasio, was abducted by Malcanthet, the Queen of the Succubi.[31] This incident ended with Yarin Frostmantle being assassinated and Concettina succeeding him as Queen of Damara.[32]

Notable locations[]

Notable Inhabitants[]

Appendix[]

Notes[]

  1. In Damara, the terms "county" and "province" are synonymous, and counties/provinces can be either baronies or duchies. Sometimes duchies are also called baronies. This is in stark contrast to the real-world use of the terms, where provinces are made up of smaller duchies, which are made up of counties, which are made up of baronies.
  2. The Forgotten Realms campaign sets for both the 1st edition (set 1357 DR) and 2nd edition (set 1368 DR) give Zhengyi and the castle's appearance as happening "20 years ago." The 3rd edition onward continued from the date established in the 2nd edition, and set the year as 1347 DR.

Appearances[]

Adventures
Bloodstone PassThe Mines of BloodstoneThe Bloodstone WarsThe Throne of BloodstoneThe Bloodstone Lands Campaign
Novels
Promise of the Witch-KingRoad of the PatriarchThe RiteHero
Short stories
That Curious SwordWickless in the Nether
Video games
Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone

Further Reading[]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. Edited by Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 114. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 89. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 142. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Uluin of Merkurn, Annals of Soravia, 1454 DR.” Mark Sehestedt (November 2009). The Fall of Highwatch. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 1. ISBN 978-0-7869-5143-7.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 108. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Mark Sehestedt (November 2009). The Fall of Highwatch. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 173. ISBN 978-0-7869-5143-7.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 7.7 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 106. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  8. Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (Cyclopedia of the Realms). (TSR, Inc), p. 37. ISBN 0-8803-8472-7.
  9. R.A. Salvatore (1989). The Bloodstone Lands. Edited by Elizabeth T. Danforth. (TSR, Inc), p. 2. ISBN 0-88038-771-8.
  10. Ed Greenwood (2000). Ed Says: Geography of the Realms. Archived from the original on 12-27-2003. Retrieved on 8-31-2021.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 107. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  12. R.A. Salvatore (1989). The Bloodstone Lands. Edited by Elizabeth T. Danforth. (TSR, Inc), p. 33. ISBN 0-88038-771-8.
  13. 13.0 13.1 R.A. Salvatore (1989). The Bloodstone Lands. Edited by Elizabeth T. Danforth. (TSR, Inc), p. 3. ISBN 0-88038-771-8.
  14. R.A. Salvatore (1989). The Bloodstone Lands. Edited by Elizabeth T. Danforth. (TSR, Inc), pp. 8–14. ISBN 0-88038-771-8.
  15. Rick Swan (1992). The Great Glacier. (TSR, Inc), pp. 5–7. ISBN 1-56076-324-8.
  16. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 110. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  17. R.A. Salvatore (1989). The Bloodstone Lands. Edited by Elizabeth T. Danforth. (TSR, Inc), pp. 3–4. ISBN 0-88038-771-8.
  18. 18.0 18.1 R.A. Salvatore (1989). The Bloodstone Lands. Edited by Elizabeth T. Danforth. (TSR, Inc), p. 4. ISBN 0-88038-771-8.
  19. R.A. Salvatore (1989). The Bloodstone Lands. Edited by Elizabeth T. Danforth. (TSR, Inc), pp. 4–5. ISBN 0-88038-771-8.
  20. Douglas Niles and Michael Dobson (1985). Bloodstone Pass. (TSR, Inc), p. 3. ISBN 978-0394548562.
  21. Uluin of Merkurn, Annals of Soravia, 1454 DR.” Mark Sehestedt (November 2009). The Fall of Highwatch. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 2. ISBN 978-0-7869-5143-7.
  22. R.A. Salvatore (1989). The Bloodstone Lands. Edited by Elizabeth T. Danforth. (TSR, Inc), p. 7. ISBN 0-88038-771-8.
  23. Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 154. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  24. R.A. Salvatore (1989). The Bloodstone Lands. Edited by Elizabeth T. Danforth. (TSR, Inc), p. 6. ISBN 0-88038-771-8.
  25. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 111. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  26. 26.0 26.1 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. Edited by Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 188. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 Brian R. James (April 2010). “Realmslore: Vaasa”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dungeon #177 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 78.
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 Brian R. James (April 2010). “Realmslore: Vaasa”. In Chris Youngs ed. Dungeon #177 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 80.
  29. Brian R. James (April 2009). "Post-Spellplague Timeline". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2021-06-05.
  30. 30.0 30.1 R.A. Salvatore (October 2016). Hero (Hardcover). (Wizards of the Coast), p. 204. ISBN 9780786965960.
  31. R.A. Salvatore (October 2016). Hero (Hardcover). (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 9780786965960.
  32. R.A. Salvatore (October 25, 2016). Hero (Nook ed.). (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 27. ISBN 9780786966059.

Connections[]

Territories of Damara
Baronies & Duchies of the Kingdom of Damara
Supply Provinces
Duchy of Arcata • Barony of Bloodstone • Duchy of Brandiar • Duchy of Carmathan • Duchy of Soravia
City Provinces
Barony of Morov • Barony of Ostel • Barony of Polten
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